Managers and team leaders need to possess particular intellectual and technical skills, but these must also be accompanied by an understanding of how to “be”. Companies require their employees, and even more so their leaders, to have human and relational qualities, the better to carry out their professional activities. Increasingly companies are turning to the innovative training method known as horse coaching.
This pedagogical approach focuses on establishing a guided and collaborative relationship with a horse, based on respect, security and trust. To that end, we offer a training that develops qualities of leadership, negotiation and communication. The horse is the “perfect coach” because it is instinctively responsive to the behaviour of the person exercising authority over it. This leads to the uncovering of powerful and lasting insights that are encapsulated in the profound emotions that anchor the experience.
The horse – an expert in communication
The horse itself, with its outstanding qualities for developing relationships, is at the heart of this training.
In nature the horse is at risk from predators, and one of its main preoccupations is to be able to escape from danger. This psychology confers exceptional extra-sensory gifts that enable a horse to know instinctively whether it is safe or not.
In addition, in nature horses live in herds. They rely on the group and its leaders to ensure their safety. Within these herds individual horses are constantly negotiating hierarchical relationships, and navigating various signals in order to recognise the dominant leaders among their fellows. These conditions make the horse a particularly sensitive animal with a wealth of communication skills.
Mirroring and revealing effects
Following a similar logic to that which operates within the herd, a horse will develop a relationship with a human being if the latter is able to demonstrate confidence and security in their bearing and behaviour. The horse is able to decode the quality of this relationship on a physical, mental and emotional level.
In order to be able to trust and cooperate, the horse must feel that the position of his interlocutor aligns with its own thoughts, feelings and actions. Its responses can be read in his behaviour. Without the capacity to prejudge or analyse, the horse responds objectively, neutrally and in real time to the emotions it is able to recognize. Like a mirror, the horse can reveal inconsistencies, contradictions and even dishonesty in the way its human partner communicates with it. If a human being wants to be able to count on the horse’s cooperation it is essential to establish a genuine relationship.
In this sense the horse turns out to be an extraordinary coach who can help a human being develop leadership and relational skills. This relationship is an exceptional way to develop, through neutral, direct, and honest feedback, an awareness which proves to be a vital help in overcoming limitations such as power struggles, inability to listen, failure to acknowledge, and muddled objectives.
The emphasis on nonverbal communication is essential during the horse coaching sessions. Studies have shown that when it comes to leadership it is the 90% non-verbal communication that really matters, rather than the 10% on which we usually rely.
” The horse is a good master not only for the body, but also for the mind and the heart,” wrote Xenophon, philosopher and military leader, in the 5th century BC. Many companies are now beginning to put this maxim into practice with horse coaching. An approach that is all the more logical if we consider that etymologically the English verb “to manage” comes from the Italian “maneggiare” (control, handle, have in hand), itself derived from the French word “manège” (a horse turning in an area).
During this workshop participants learn to:
- Measure the impact they have in a relationship
- Act in real time to facilitate and accelerate change
- Put in place favourable conditions for sustained collaboration
- Develop their intuitive abilities
- Improve how they manage stress and emotions
Contact us to find out more or for a personalized quote.
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